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Life Enriching Communities Blog

Can I Afford a CCRC? Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Twin Towers on April 11, 2017

Senior couple researching on computerFew people question the benefits and luxury living of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRCs) also referred to as a Life Plan Community. With modern housing, services, amenities, short and long-term medical care, security and peace of mind all wrapped up in one, it’s the best of all worlds. The real question is: Can I afford it? 

Is a CCRC Worth the Costs?

The main feature of a Continuing Care Retirement Community is gaining the continuum of care, meaning as a resident or member of the community you gain access to independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and any other health care services of the specific community.

Most residents move into a CCRC while they are independent and active. You can live independently in a patio home or apartment, while enjoying the many included amenities of the community, such as home maintenance to on-site dining.

If or when assistance or care is needed, you stay within the community but move into an assisted living home or skilled nursing arrangement. This allows you to stay within the community where you have built friendships, know the staff and feel at home. Also, you gain the assurance that care is there when needed.

At Twin Towers senior living community, a CCRC in Cincinnati, residents gain access to independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, memory support services and inpatient rehabilitative services. On-site amenities and services include home maintenance, housekeeping, various dining options, transportation, a wellness and fitness center, a performing arts center, bank, library, salon, art studio, chapel and more.

With one contractual agreement, you gain housing, the services and amenities of the community, health care and a great sense of comfort knowing your future is in place.

CCRC costs at first may seem higher than traditional independent living. However, one must factor in that these costs include numerous benefits, such as having your future care in place and possibly even refundable housing fees, which are not included in traditional independent living.

A CCRC is more than just housing; it’s an investment into your lifestyle and your future care.

The Financial Health and Future of CCRCs

A 2016 report by Chicago-based specialty investment bank Ziegler predicts a growing demand for the services and lifestyles provided by CCRCs, also known as Life Plan Communities.

With 1,954 CCRCs located across the country, Pennsylvania has the most at 197 with Ohio following next with 150 CCRCs. The majority, 79%, are not-for-profit organizations with roughly 65% of those a faith-based organization. The Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian-sponsored communities are the most common.

CCRCs nationally range in size from communities with fewer than 100 units to 750+ units on a campus, according to the Ziegler report.

“A majority of Life Plan Community organizations continue to reinvest in their existing campuses and look to enhance offerings, whether it would be specialized memory support services or additional common areas that offer state-of-the-art wellness centers,” the Ziegler report says. “Many Life Plan Communities, regardless of the category label over the years, have deep histories of providing for seniors. We anticipate that will continue for many more decades.”

As for the name variation, Life Plan Community was recommended as the new name for CCRCs in late 2015. While many CCRCs are beginning to interchange and transition to Life Plan Community, it simply takes time for an industry term to become mainstream.

Why the recommended name change? Lifeplancommunity.org said it best: Baby Boomers have changed the game, so we’re changing the name.

Retirees no longer want just care providers; they want a lifestyle and living experience. Therefore, CCRC communities have evolved into vibrant villages with a range of residential options, services, amenities and opportunities for personal growth and exploration, along with providing future care.

Contract Options & Pricing of a CCRC

Contracts and fees will vary from one CCRC to the next. You may find yourself comparing apples to oranges, and therefore, it is recommended that you focus on comparing each CCRC to your current cost of living and what you are looking for in the future.

Use this free Cost of Living Comparison Worksheet to help you compare your current cost of living to the cost of a CCRC.

It’s important to ask about entrance fees, administrative fees, health assessments and/or any other community fees that are required upon signing or reserving a home. The entrance fee is what helps provide your continuum of care.

The monthly fee typically covers the community services, amenities and conveniences that you gain from the moment you move in. Ensure you get a complete list of all services and amenities included -- and not included -- in the monthly fee. Ask about any additional costs you should prepare for outside of the monthly fee.

Again, contracts and fees will vary for each CCRC so ensure you discuss all contracts and costs with a community representative and even your financial advisor. The most common types of CCRC agreements, according to independent health services accreditor CARF International, are:

  • Type A (Extensive): This agreement includes housing, residential services, amenities and unlimited, specific health-related services with little or no substantial increase in monthly payments, except to cover normal operating costs and inflation adjustments.
  • Type B (Modified): A modified agreement typically includes housing, residential services, amenities and a specific amount of healthcare with no substantial increase in monthly payments, except to cover normal operating costs and inflation adjustments. After the specified amount of healthcare is used, the resident pays either a discounted rate or the full per diem rate for required healthcare services.
  • Type C (Fee-for-Service): Housing, residential services and amenities are included in the agreement with access to healthcare services guaranteed. The costs for healthcare is separate at a fee-for-service rate.
  • Rental: Residents rent their housing and gain amenities, but typically do not have a guarantee on healthcare services and may be paying for those on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Per Diem: The resident enters into an assisted living agreement and pays the per diem (an agreed upon daily rate) or market rate for assisted living services.
  • Equity: These types of agreements involve the actual purchase of real estate or membership, including condominiums and cooperatives.

The Costs of Living at Twin Towers Senior Living Community

Twin Tower Patio Homes

The patio homes in Twin Tower’s South Ridge and Towerwoods neighborhoods are single-family homes located in beautifully wooded areas. The neighborhoods and main community buildings, services and amenities are located together on one campus.

The monthly service fee includes:

Patio home costs as of Jan. 1, 2017, are:

  • Studio pricing beginning at $2,058 for monthly fees and $45,280 for refundable entrance fees.
  • One-bedroom pricing beginning at $2,316 for monthly fees and $59,350 for refundable entrance fees.
  • Two-bedroom pricing beginning at $2,573 for monthly fees and $73,330 for refundable entrance fees. 


Get the Twin Towers patio home floor plans here

Twin Tower Apartment Homes

At Twin Towers, the apartment homes are just steps from all of the services and amenities of the senior living community. Residents can choose from studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, all beautifully appointed and ready for your decorating touches.

The monthly service fee includes:


Apartment home costs as of Jan. 1, 2017:

  • Studio pricing beginning at $1,689 for monthly fees and $25,550 for refundable entrance fees.
  • One-bedroom pricing beginning at $1,834 for monthly fees and $32,790 for refundable entrance fees.
  • Two-bedroom pricing beginning at $2,225 for monthly fees and $52,840 for refundable entrance fees. 


Get the Twin Tower apartment floor plans here.

Questions to Ask When Touring a CCRC

While visiting CCRCs or any senior living community, plan ample time to tour the homes and grounds, talk with residents and have your questions answered by staff. Use this list of potential questions to ask about a CCRC provided by the AARP:

  • What’s involved in the application process?
  • What is the assessment process and what does it involve?
  • What are the contract options?
  • Are residences owned or rented?
  • What is the breakdown of fees? Entrance fee? Monthly fees? Can we expect the monthly fees to be raised on a yearly basis? If so, by how much?
  • What is the payment schedule?
  • What services are included fully in the entrance and monthly fees? Ask for a breakdown of additional services and their fees.
  • Does Medicaid, Medicare or other long-term care insurance cover anything?
  • What happens if my spouse or I need the next level of care?
  • What happens if I decide the community is not for me? Is there a refund?
  • Are there estate refunds for fees already paid?
  • Who makes the decision to move into the next level of care? Me? My family? A doctor or care provider?
  • Do the entrance and/or monthly fee cover any medical or health coverage? If so, what?
  • What happens if there are no rooms available in assisted living or skilled nursing care, if I would need any of those services?
  • Is the skilled nursing facility Medicaid and/or Medicare certified?
  • Do you have a resident financial review committee that keeps oversight on the community’s financial situation?
  • Can I see a copy of your organization’s annual financial statement or annual report? 


The best time to make any decision is before you feel pressure. By starting early before your decision is based on health and your care needs -- you are opening the door to more options and opportunities. Take time to research, tour CCRCs and create a plan of action that fits you financially and excites you for what lies ahead. 

Moving to a community like Twin Towers Senior Living Community in Cincinnati can offer incredible value you may not have even realized. Call our resource specialist at 513-853-2000 or contact Twin Towers online with any of your questions.

We also invite you to stop by to tour our community and homes and see what living life at Twin Towers is all about!

opening doors at a senior living community

Topics: Finance and Planning

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